The UK Home Office does not have a reputation for welcoming foreigners. The term “hostile environment” – coined by Theresa May – seems to have stuck.
So when the Government announced that EU citizens could be deported if they had not regularised their status by the deadline a new wave of anxiety was unleashed.
The fear factor was felt not just by EU citizens in the UK. Many Britons abroad are nervous that other member states might retaliate by sending them packing too.
Settled status – in effect indefinite leave to remain – was announced unilaterally by Prime Minister May at the end of 2018.
At the time, it was seen as a major concession.
Published in Euractiv, 16 Oct. 2019
Author: Roger Casale